Gustavo's Latest "Orange County Line" for KCRW: On Anaheim's Proposed District Voting for City Council Races!

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The last year or so has been muy tough on my beloved city of Anaheim, and not just because of trigger-happy cops and a nation discovering its stratified reality. There's also the matter of an ACLU lawsuit alleging the violation of voting rights against Latinos, a lawsuit I cannot stand by. Not only is the racial argument that Latinos need Latinos to represent them preposterous--as I've said many times before, the best possible politician Latinos in the city can have is longtime activist Duane Roberts--but two of the plaintiffs, Amin David and Jose Moreno of Los Amigos, helped get Anaheim in its current mess by long playing footsie with Dark Lord Curt Pringle. And let's not forget Moreno tried to get Chapman University to pull me as a conference speaker because he doesn't want anyone to think of him as anything else as OC's Great Brown Hope, an assertion as laughable as me becoming a Balboa Bay Club member.


I am for district elections though, and that was the main thrust of my weekly "Orange County Line" segment for KCRW-FM 89.9. I was far more polite on public radio than I am here, obviously, although I did sneak in my usual reference about Pringle being the whitest man alive. Enjoy!


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6 comments
Carlashworth
Carlashworth

Gustavo, sometimes I hate your your half-truths, out of context, irrational thoughts. Then you say the truth and I think you are really a good person. Your above, insightful article endorses a current, political rarity; a sincere political candidate

gregdiamond
gregdiamond

Here we go again: Gustavo's "legal analysis" of the ACLU suit.  OK, for any first timers out there:

(1) The Voting Rights Act does not permit lawsuits on the basis of class or whatever else Gustavo fantasizes should be possible.  It does permit lawsuits on the basis of race/ethnicity.  Race/ethnicity is correlated with -- not perfectly, but substantially enough to allow a lawsuit -- class.  The predominantly Latino areas are poorer (and far less well-served by the city); the predominantly non-Latino white areas are wealthier (and far better served.)  Yes, there are exceptions, just as (as Gustavo points out) there are some non-Latino white politicians who may better represent Latino interests than some Latino politicians would.  Pointing out exceptions -- such as Anaheim's brief period of having only one non-Latino white City Council member -- is almost always possible, but usually substantively insignificant.  (There are also some days on which San Francisco is warmer than Los Angeles, but we all realize that in general LA is warmer, regardless of those exceptions.)  A lawsuit based on race is the only way to get at that a solution.  Gustavo is in effect complaining about Los Amigos and the ACLU being effective -- and following the law.  Taking Gustavo's "can we all just stop talking about race?" approach is guaranteed by law to be ineffective.

(2) Gustavo does not seem to understand the political problem any better than he does the legal problem.  The problem is Santa Ana, which he describes as a "banana republic," is partly that while candidates must (nominally) reside in a given ward, they are still elected by the vote of the entire city.  In other words, it would be as if an Anaheim Council District system allowed Anaheim Hills voters to choose the residents of each district that they like the best.  Let representatives be chosen only by the members of each district and now people in those districts, who are no longer so likely to be steamrolled by the vote coming out of Anaheim Hills, have a stronger reason to register and vote -- because it's no longer so clearly futile.  That's why the Democratic Party's resolution, which I introduced and helped author, specifies elections only by a district's residents.

(3) If Gustavo had wanted to file the damned suit instead of leaving it to David and Moreno, who once agreed with Pringle and disagreed with Gustavo on one issue, then Gustavo could have contacted the ACLU about filing the suit.  But, he didn't.  Now he's bringing up long-ago stories (in a venue where those he criticize can't really challenge him) to try to tear them down -- because they did something effective and good.  (Oh -- and also because tearing down is easier than building up.)

(4) Bloviation is "empty, pompous, political speech."  Does Gustavo really argue that the above analysis is "empty"?  If so, is he too dense to understand it -- or is he just pretending to be?

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@gregdiamond And the Bloviator bloviates again with his blovating. Stick to throwing around homophobic slurs, Bloviator, as you proved yourself quite good at that—a first for you!

gregdiamond
gregdiamond

@GustavoArellano   Yeah, Gustavo -- in the spirit of your columns I meant to call you a Spanish-language term for male genitalia, like verga, but in my ignorance of obscene Spanish I accidentally called you the equivalent of a "rentboy."  I'd stand by that, too, except for the homosexual (rather than mere commercial) implication, for which I've already apologized sincerely to the GLBT community.  In the future, I plan to carefully vet my Arellano-style insults through this delightful page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_profanity.

(I'm saving a copy of this comment for what will no doubt be future use -- when I don't feel like reminding people that you had just said categorically that Jews aren't white.)

Meanwhile, jfernandez1's above guess about you currently looks like a winner.  As I expected, you can't argue this one on its merits.

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